Iraq

Iraq: Projects supported by CARE International UK

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CARE International in Iraq
CARE International worked in Iraq from 1963 to 1968 managing rural development and village assistance programmes. It returned to Iraq following the Gulf War in 1991 to assist Kurdish refugees in the northern part of the country. Currently, CARE International distributes food to over 10,000 children in Iraqi hospitals and refurbishes and maintains water systems throughout central and southern Iraq.

Over 21 million Iraqis - the majority of the population - are served by water installations funded by CARE International and over two million people directly benefit from water plants and pumping stations refurbished with CARE International's help.

Diyala integrated water project

Country: Iraq

Sector: Water and sanitation

This project aims to improve the quality and availability of drinking water supplied to 77,000 people in three towns in Diyala Governorate in eastern Iraq. In addition, the project aims to stop the decline in health service provision in these towns of Khanaqeen, Beled Ruz and Muqdadiyah. Emergency work carried out in the public water system increases the quantity and improves the quality of water while rehabilitation of local level health infrastructure, serving 412,000 people, maximises the benefits of improved water supply and helps combat a rising incidence of water-related diseases.

Following the war with Iran, the Gulf War and UN sanctions imposed in 1990, investment in infrastructure has steadily gone down. As a result the water system is now in extremely poor condition and the quality and quantity of potable water supplied have significantly declined. Likewise the medical services provided at hospitals and primary healthcare centres have deteriorated and have almost collapsed due to lack of investment and inputs. This project takes an integrated approach whereby the quantity and quality of drinking water is improved while the hospitals and main health centres served by the rehabilitated water are renovated. Improvements in the quality and availability of water and healthcare facilities will have a direct impact on the health of people in the project areas.

CARE's approach to rehabilitating water supplies and healthcare centres involved consulting the local authorities and staff to redesign each site and decide how basic services are provided in the interim period. In each case, the work to restore the quality of service involves ongoing coordination with the authorities. Since the start of the project great achievements have been made in rehabilitating the water treatment plants, with all sites in the three towns functioning at 75 percent efficiency. A new potable water supply network was also installed and connected in all three towns this summer.

This project is funded by the British government's Department for International Development (DFID). The project started in October 2001 and runs until 2002.

This project summary was updated September 2002.

Mahaweel and Hamza Integrated Water Project

Country: Iraq

Sector: Water and sanitation

This project aims to improve the health and living conditions of the populations of the towns of Mahaweel, Hamza and surrounding areas. This integrated water project is improving access to better quality and quantity of drinking water and better health services for 370,000 people living in and around these two towns.

A needs assessment undertaken by CARE staff and Water and Health Directorate staff in the Babel and Qadisseyah Governorates identified that the water treatment installations in both locations are pumping an insufficient supply of water and the quality of water is suspect. As well, the hospital facilities in the two towns are also severely constrained and in poor condition. Specific problems encountered include water treatment facilities operating well below capacity, purification systems not functioning, contamination of clean water as it passes through old and decaying cast iron network pipes and hospitals and primary healthcare centres over-capacity with limited access to clean water.

In order to improve the quality and quantity of drinking water available to the residents of Mahaweel and Hamza this project is working to rehabilitate the water treatment plants and replace old drinking water supply network pipes. As well, hospitals and primary healthcare centres are being redesigned and restored, including the installation of WCs, hot/cold water wash basins and shower cubicles. In order to maintain these changes, the project is training operators and technicians at the water treatment plants and carrying out monitoring visits to water installations and health facilities to check on progress and maintenance.

This project is funded by the European Commission. The project started in June 2002 and runs until February 2003.

This project summary was updated in September 2002.

Water and Sanitation Project (WATSAN)

Country: Iraq

Sector: Water and sanitation

This project aims to address poor access to drinking water and sewage disposal facilities in 14 governorates in central and southern Iraq. CARE is improving the performance of 80 water and six sewerage installations and maintaining the standard of another 20 water installations that have been recently renewed.

Before the Gulf War, Iraq had a technically advanced water and sewerage system capable of meeting the needs of its population. However, since that time the systems have deteriorated steadily. The electricity infrastructure also suffered from severe damage that not only stopped the working of the water and sewerage facilities but also damaged equipment and networks. Drinking water is now in restricted supply and sewage disposal facilities are inadequate.

Engineers are working with local staff to establish technical support systems at each installation to allow it to function as efficiently as possible. The project is training local operators and technicians at the water and sewerage installations to ensure good operational and maintenance practices and putting in place a database to monitor the status of the water and sewerage systems. The project is also working with local authorities to raise awareness on water usage problems. In addition, CARE is working jointly with UNICEF to monitor the improvements taking place in Iraq with regard the water and sewerage systems. By providing a quarterly report on the water and sewage situation, CARE and UNICEF are in a position to identify areas of need and to prioritise where rehabilitations have to take place.

The project is funded by the British Government's Department for International Development (DFID). The project started in September 2002 and runs until August 2004.

This project summary was updated in September 2002.